Last updated on October 9, 2020
By Kayla Osborne
The Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs at Volunteer State Community College is working to improve the financial and communication challenges some adult learners are facing due to the pandemic.
“We have gone to using/developing more dynamic forms, which makes it easier for students to submit paperwork/forms online directly to us or to the college. Students do not need to physically come to campus or try to scan or email documents. It would seem the challenges we face are an ever-changing work environment. What will next semester be like? Will we be working on campus or working at home? For some, working from home was a challenge in itself. Reaching out to students via email/phone/zoom, have all helped in keeping us connected with our students,” said Judy Schuelke, Coordinator Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs.
“I feel like a majority of our communication with students has been through email. Throughout the summer we were able to conduct both Tennessee Reconnect Information sessions and Adult Learner Information sessions via zoom. The Tennessee Reconnect sessions will be offered via zoom again later this fall. Several employees in our office have also been advising students utilizing both zoom and phone calls. We are reaching students through the use of email, phone calls, and virtual meetings via zoom. Our peer mentors (Pioneer Connections) and the RSO (Returning Student Organization) also help keep us connected to current students as well. Email is a great way to get out information to a large audience at one time while phone calls and zoom offer more of a personal touch. Of all the ways we are reaching out to students, I feel that the virtual meetings through zoom and phone calls have been the most successful. These two avenues are allowing us to still have some sort of human contact with our students in a safe environment,” said Penelope Starr, Veterans Affairs Associate.
For adult learners with financial concerns regarding the cost of college, Vol State participates in the Tennessee Reconnect program, which allows eligible students to earn a college degree tuition-free. For more information on the application process is listed on the Vol State website.